An anonymous reader writes: In late 2004, weeks before Tony Blair's Freedom of Information (FOI) act first came into force, Downing Street adopted a policy of automatically deleting emails more than three months old (paywalled). The IT decision has resulted in a "dysfunctional" system according to former cabinet officials, with Downing Street workers struggling to agree on the details of meetings in the absence of a correspondence chain. It is still possible to preserve an email by dragging it to local storage, but the relevance of mails may not be apparent at the time that the worker must make the decision to do so. Former special adviser to Nick Clegg Sean Kemp said: "Some people delete their emails on an almost daily basis, others just try to avoid putting anything potentially interesting in an email in the first place."
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